Anna Quintin of Fairhaven celebrated her 100th birthday on April 10, enjoying dinner with family members, some who flew in from Germany, and good friends like Joe Costa, who helped organize the party.

"I can't believe it!" exclaimed the centenarian when asked how it feels to turn 100 years old. "I never, never thought I would live this long."

Turning 100 must be in their family DNA.

"My mother and my aunt were pregnant at the same time, and I was born first, with my cousin in Acushnet born a week later, who'll turn 100 this coming Easter Sunday," she said of her cousin Cilia Crowell, whom everyone calls "CB" and who lives in New Bedford.

In the photo, Quintin is in the peach dress and Crowell is in the white jacket.

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Quintin's family owned three bars in New Bedford over the years – Quintin's Kitchen and Bar, Bridge Cafe and North Cafe. Quintin also contributed to the war effort as well.

"During World War II, I worked making gas masks, while my husband went straight to Germany, under General Patton, driving ammunition trucks to the front lines," she recalled.

 

She then paused for a moment of reflection.

"You know, when you have a good husband, and a dad who's good to your children, you've got everything in life," she said.

She recalled how much simpler things were when she was growing up.

"Things are so much different now. Women are doing so much more than just bringing up the children, and are doing everything these days, and that's good!" she said. "As for the way things were, we bathed in a tin tub, near the wood stove, with the youngest going first. I remember my older sister complaining that she didn't want to go in because the others left scum in the tub. My poor mother!"

Quintin also doesn't want any part of modern-day technology.

"I wouldn't know how to turn on a computer, and I'm very content with my landline telephone," she said.

Asked to recall a favorite memory, she said, "Taking the family on rides through the countryside and ending up at Blanchard's Chicken House. That was a big thing because we didn't have a lot of money,"she remembers.

There were some memories that were private, like her first kiss.

"Oh, I can't talk about that," she said with a laugh. "But I can still see my future husband riding his bicycle from Fairhaven to New Bedford just to see me."

Quintin celebrated with family and friends on Sunday at White's of Westport.

Courtesy Linda Borges Ryan
Courtesy Linda Borges Ryan
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"Today was one of my best days ever!" she said. "Having my first son get married at White's, and being there today was just like reliving it all over again."

As for what makes her happy nowadays, she mused, "I still love taking walks, and I used to enjoy going out to lunch, but since COVID, I haven't gone anywhere, so we call out, because sometimes I get lazy and don't feel like cooking."

Living life for a century is a milestone. Anna Quintin is an extraordinary, quick-witted and keen person with the wisdom of a 100-year-old and the sharp mind of someone much younger.

As for offering any advice, she said, "If you're married, just get along and if you get in a spat, never go to bed mad. Talk it out because life is so short."

Listen to Anna Quintin's interview with Phil:

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